In one of the InDesign forums, a subscriber asked how he could “fatten up” his artwork in InDesign, because the InDesign file was going to be used as artwork for embossing. To ensure that nothing would be undercut or too delicate in the embossing plate, he was asked by his printer to spread all artwork — text, an Illustrator logo, and a bitmap signature. He needed to perform a trapping operation called “spreading.” Here’s my answer to him:
While InDesign can’t create trapped content, there is a way to create a trapped PDF from InDesign. For the job described, which requires “fattening up” all artwork, you must convince InDesign that it needs to spread the artwork. It looks long-winded when you see all the steps below, but it’s not really that bad. For this to happen, you need three things:
-artwork that’s lighter than the background (I’ll use C100 in this example). And your signature must be a bitmap TIFF. (OK, so maybe you actually need four things.)
-a custom trap preset in InDesign
-Distiller (if you don’t have Distiller, you can’t do this)
- Turn your Illustrator artwork to 100 cyan, then update it in InDesign. Yes, I know it will emboss — not print in cyan — but it doesn’t matter what color it appears to be: they’ll output that plate and use it as the basis for an embossing die.
- In InDesign, color your scanned signature 100 cyan: You can just drag the 100 cyan swatch on top of the signature frame without selecting the frame first. Alternatively, select the sig artwork with the white arrow, and choose the cyan swatch.
- Change all your text to 100% cyan.
- Create a big 100% black object behind everything. This creates a situation InDesign is willing to trap.